It’s not always easy to find the way within the wide range of software, between the different approaches and applications of client information systems. In this article we will clarify the nature and the utility of these two main families of software in order differentiate CRM and marketing automation.
A CRM solution is a database that centralize, secure and manage the customer relationship related data. This type of software will help you to structure your activity and increase significantly its performance.
As a sales or marketing manager, you most probably already know a CRM software. Many of them are offering a very wide range of functionalities, from the simplest to the most complex ones. Companies often end up with a maladjusted software. Most of the CRM are customizable almost infinitely, and the range of data that you will be able to follow and measure is very wide. Moreover, it is generally possible to integrate the CRM with other software and popular applications.
Here is a brief overview of the importance of a CRM tool and its benefits:
Marketing, as many other industries, benefit from the technological development of our time. Marketing includes many repetitive tasks: e-mailing, social media’s interactions, etc. Automated marketing is not a CRM tool, helping you to manage your client relationship: it is all about the automated part of the relationship. It is a series of smart processes, so called “workflows,” which, managed with the right tool, will help you to get closer to a visitor. However, this automation must bring a human and relevant added value. And the customer experience is at the core of this process. It’s where you will find the key to marketing automation. It’s all the predictable and repetitive tasks of the customer experience that are adaptable and scalable.
If it can ease your life, marketing automation still requires some efforts for its implementation. It shall take into consideration the continuous change of the needs of your audiences, their uses, behaviors and interactions on all marketing channels.
Here is an overview of the reasons why marketing automation is important:
Despite many marketing and sales manager who believe that these tools are the same, there are significant differences about the goals and the users. Find out about these differences in order to understand properly the role of each and their necessity within the growth of your company:
Indeed, marketing automation tool is used at the beginning of the buying process by the marketing department, while the CRM will be used during the sales process.
The marketing automation tool will be helpful when the people in touch with the company during the following steps:
The CRM tool will be helpful during the following steps of people being in touch with the company:
The aim of automated marketing is to manage the whole conversion process to turn any unknown person into qualified prospects for the sales. In counterparts, CRM is used to frame the process of conversion of qualified leads generated by the marketing into true buying clients.
Thus, of you have a CRM without the marketing automation tool, you will be properly loaded to “close” your leads and turn them into clients, but you won’t have the right tools to easily generate new leads. In contrast, a marketing tool without CRM will enable you to generate leads that will be more complicated to turn into clients, because you won’t have any tool to frame this process.
Marketing automation is used by the marketing department of a company. It’s the tool that provides them the power to optimize their marketing funnel in order to turn unknown web users visiting a website into identified leads, and then nurture and qualify these leads until they are ready to be taken care of sales representatives.
The sales representatives are the ones that will use a CRM in order to manage the process of conversion of qualified prospects into clients. It’s within these tools that the different steps of the sales funnel will be identified, together with the different follow-up tasks to be coordinated.
For the majority of the companies that have well-established sales and marketing departments, the question to ask isn’t “do we need a CRM or a marketing tool?” but “what is the best CRM and the best marketing tool for our needs,” and especially “could these tools be fully integrated?”
Nowadays any company that wishes to grow has to computerize its sales and marketing processes. Operation efficiency coming from this will be profitable and will support a continuous improvement thanks to the decrease of manual and redundant tasks that eat up a lot of time without generating a lot of added value.
But having good tools without qualified staff to operate them, neither the right strategies to make them flow, won’t be efficient. That’s why asking the help of a qualified integrator will enable you to exploit these resources optimally.